For those of us who do not work in either the tech or gaming industries, being an adult nerd and meeting other adult nerds can be difficult. I bring this up now, because I have made a nerdy friend at work, and I think this is the first time since I left Tech that this has happened.
The majority of the folks I have worked with over the years have been very nice, and I’m still in contact with several of them. But none of them have been into RPGs, comics, or SF/F. However, at my new job, I have made a new friend who is into all of the above.
The came up during lunch the other day, because we were talking about the whole process of feeling out new friends to see if they were compatible, and trying to be subtle while doing it.
In this case, I saw some of the artwork she hung in her cube, and then she wore a dress with a skull print, and I decided to introduce myself and compliment her clothes. Or possibly she complimented mine first, I’m not sure. We started out talking about clothes, then I think I casually mentioned comics, and we talked about that… We basically spent several days “casually” bringing things up in conversation, asking what each other were reading, what we did on weekends.
So quick and dirty tips for meeting like-minded nerds while being a grown up.
1. Art. At work, if you are in an office or cubicle, hang tasteful nerd art. The key word is tasteful. No Frazetta or Vallejo, as much as I have a soft spot for their art, scantily clad girls and piles of skulls are not workplace appropriate. Please do not make your HR person have to have that conversation.
Now, some workplaces who hate their employees have “no personal items” policies, which is when you have to rely on:
2. Clothing and Jewelry. Unless you’re in the Tech or Gaming industries, odds are pretty good that you are not going to be able to get away with things like blatant comic book t-shirts. ThinkGeek has a selection of fairly subtle nerd clothing, like polos with nerdy insignia. Thanks to shops like Etsy and, also, ThinkGeek, it is really easy to find nerd themed jewelry in varying levels of subtlety. I have a Shield Insignia ring. I sometimes wear my charm bracelet with a variety of nerd-themed charms on it from Optimystical.
3. Pins, Patches, and Bags. I have a collection of enamel pins and buttons with comic and other nerdy properties on them. I wear these on my coats and hoodies, and have several on the flap of my messenger bag. This has the added benefit of letting you change them out as the mood takes you.
Speaking of the messenger bag, it’s one of ThinkGeek’s Bags of Holding. It has D-20 zipper pulls and says “Bag of Holding” with a D-20 across the front pocket.
4. Phones cases and Laptop skins. ZOMG, you guys!!! Seriously, depending on what kind of phone or laptop you have, you can find almost limitless types of cases and skins for your personal electronics. Society 6 does skins, and many fan artists have their work there. Etsy, again, also has a lot of these.
5. Phone and Laptop Wallpapers. I have the nerdiest personal electronics. I just inherited an iPad that uses the pencil (which, oh my gods, you guys, so cool!!!!!), and it has Captain America on the Lock Screen and the Winter Soldier as wallpaper. My phone also has Winter Soldier wallpaper.
Something I’ve told people for years when giving dating advice is “Humans are the only animals that can purposely change their plumage to attract the partners they want.” What you’re doing with the geek clothing and accessories is signaling that, “Hey, I like this stuff! If you like this stuff, maybe we should be friends!”
If you like what you read here, or want to enable my ability to signify my extreme nerdiness, please consider donating using the link at the top right of the page: Keep Us Geeking, or checking out my Patreon. Thank you!
Also, if you’d like to see what sort of fiction I write when left to my own devices, please feel free to check out my fiction Patreon, Nothing Nice Comes Out of My Head.